To re-launch Not in Print, we spoke with Finegan Kruckemeyer about magical worlds where monsters are friends and lighthouses are boats, and on the richness and dynamism of theatre for children and young people.
Finegan has had 94 commissioned plays performed on six continents and translated into eight languages. His work has enjoyed seasons in more than 200 international festivals and in 2018, he was the most-produced playwright of original children’s theatre in the US.
He and his work have received 36 awards, including the Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award for international Theatre for Young Audiences, David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Australian Playwrighting, seven Australian Writers' Guild Awards and an inaugural Sidney Myer Fellowship. Finegan has spoken at conferences in ten countries, with papers published and works studied at international universities.
Finegan was born in Ireland and moved halfway around the world to Adelaide, Australia, aged eight. After 15 years, he and his wife Essie left for the island state of Tasmania. And after 15 more, with their son Moe, they returned.
Finegan is committed to making strong and respectful work for children, which acknowledges them as astute audience members outside the plays, and worthy subjects within.
See more of Finegan's work at finegankruckemeyer.com
Currency Press has published four titles by Finegan, including one play collection; For We the Young, At Sea, Staring up, The Grumpiest Boy in the World and The Violent Outburst that Drew Me To You. Available at currency.com.au/books-tag/finegan-kruckemeyer/
Alana Valentine reads her response to Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler. It’s called An Ever-Changing Idiom and features in the Currency Press series, Cue the Chorus, in which an assortment of respected Australian playwrights respond to the work of their peers. You can download all the responses in the series from our website - currencypress.com.au
A little bit about Alana Valentine. She is one of Australia’s most renowned and respected writers. Valentine writes for the stage, screen, radio and multimedia projects, but is perhaps best known for her plays. She is well known for her rigorous use of research within the community she is writing about. Her work for the stage includes Run Rabbit Run, Parramatta Girls, Cyberbile, Ear to the Edge of Time and Comin’ Home Soon. She has received numerous awards, both in Australia and internationally.
In Norm and Ahmed a rather ocker, white Australian male encounters a well-mannered Pakistani student with revolutionary ambitions on a Sydney street at midnight. The exploration of alienation in this play remained a common theme in Buzo’s work, with a tireless commitment to reflecting the true nature of Australian society.
Alex Buzo was born in Sydney and educated at the University of NSW. In the late 1960s his early plays Norm and Ahmed, Rooted and The Front Room Boys pioneered a revival of Australian theatre. Macquarie and other historical plays such as Big River and Pacific Union helped to popularise the themes of our individual and national maturity. Buzo's books Tautology, The Longest Game, The Young Person's Guide to the Theatre and A Dictionary of the Almost Obvious confirm his reputation as an important recorder of the modern Australian idiom.
In 2005 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of New South Wales for his contribution to Australian literature. And following his death in 2006, his daughter Emma founded The Alex Buzo Company, which was the first arts organisation in Australia to produce, promote and perpetuate the work of a single Australian writer. Today, Emma Buzo is here to discuss what is, perhaps, her father’s most famous work, Norm and Ahmed, which she loves deeply and also directed for The Alex Buzo Company in 2007.
Gary's failed in everything he's attempted. But when he inherits a block of land, he gets an urge to build a nest with his angry, pregnant girlfriend, Sue-Anne. A ratbag collection of misfits, loners, drifters and losers are thrown together on this scrubby patch of remote bush - loosely united in a comically desperate project, to build a home.
Debra Oswald announced to her parents that she was going to be a playwright at twelve years old and she has been sharing stories ever since. Her broad body of work has been seen on screens large and small, watched in darkened theatres across the world, and read by too many people to count. She had early success with her play Dags and continued on with acclaimed works such as The Peach Season, Stories in the Dark, Skate and House on Fire. She was also the creator and head writer for the smash hit television series, Offspring on Channel Ten.